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Pakistan’s Anti-Graft Body Arrests Opposition Leader


Khawaja Muhammad Asif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) party and former foreign minister. (file photo)

Pakistani authorities say they have arrested a key opposition leader accused of having assets higher than his known sources of income.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), was transferred to the city of Lahore on December 30 after appearing before an accountability court in the capital, Islamabad.

A spokesman for Pakistan's anti-corruption body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), said in a statement that Asif was taken into custody for having "assets beyond known sources of income."

Asif, who served as foreign minister in the government of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has rejected the accusation.

His arrest comes as opposition parties have been holding rallies across Pakistan to pressure Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign over what they call his failure to improve the economy.

"This is not an arrest, it is an abduction," PML-N deputy leader Maryam Nawaz told reporters in Islamabad, accusing Khan’s government of using the NAB to “pressure its political opponents.”

The government has repeatedly rejected allegations it was interfering NAB's work, saying it is an "independent" institution.

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